Some of my Facebook friends often send me private messages to ask if I am actually friends with some of my other Facebook friends. Three in particular are card carrying conservatives that often share posts and comments that most of my other friends find offensive, ignorant, or downright ridiculous. Though it’s been suggested that I should unfriend them, and as much as our differences of perspective may cause rifts at times, they each still hold a special place in my heart.
One of them is a mother who I met years ago when she produced a music festival for her son and other children with Down’s syndrome. She’s quite discouraged with the US government (notably the Democratic Party), and has since conjured a scenario in her head whereby Trump will actually have some sort of positive change (I know, it’s a bit delusional, but I still like her). Another is a former Wall Street broker I had on my radio show a few times and enjoy having lunch with because I appreciate the difference of perspective. And one of them is my former nemesis in the battle for best write-in candidate for District 2 Commissioner of Sarasota County. We are just so completely different that pretty much everything he says amuses me, even though a lot of it, as much of conservatism is, is ensconced in fear and ignorance.
Each of them has called me liberal, left wing, or (and this one really hurts) a DemocratTM at one time or another, and there’s a very vocal part of them that feels most comfortable splitting the world into liberal n’ conservative, left n’ right, DemocratTM n’ RepublicanTM, us n’ them. This way of seeing the world goes all the way back to when we started contemplating the difference between good n’ evil, and for as long as we entertain and enable these classifications, we’re going to have an impossible time seeing this world as the perfect place it could be. One of them, whom one of my other Facebook friends called a “nut,” recently posted a meme that touched on the transgender issue, and since it’s been one of the things I’ve been pondering over the last year or so, I figured I’d try to shed some light on the middle way between these two disparate entities we keep pitting against each other.
The meme articulated the point that, “In a sexual species, there are two sexes, MALE and FEMALE,” but if failed to point out that we live in a time when those gender roles have been transmuted in nearly aspect of our society so it is only natural that a creative AND sexual species would seek to diversify it’s possibilities and transcend those biological limitations. It also states that “99.3% of humans have XX or XY sex chromosomes (rest is mutation),” and I wish they would have added a “the” before “rest,” but that’s just the way that I am. Then it pointed out that “Being one sex but thinking you’re the other is a psychological disorder,” and considering all of the other psychological disorders that plague humanity by manufacturing wars, producing unnecessary pollution, and hating people out of fear, deciding which social role you’d like to play in the game of life seems to be a really minor one to me (and is probably more of a defense mechanism to cope with the other crazy things people do). And finally, they added that “Mandating a widespread enabling of a psychological disorder is sociopathy,” and this one does probably have a bit of insight.
As it is, according to TIME Magazine there are currently between 830 and 6,630 transgender service members in the active duty military and reserves in an organization consisting of over 1.2 million recruits. The greater psychological disorder is not the one that may afflict this minority of people, but the one that feels compelled to publicly attack them without any provocation and using a social media platform to, as the meme said “mandate a widespread enabling of a psychological disorder.”
Most of the distinctions we humans have developed have been of our own making. Every one of our borders is an imaginary line in the sand that we have used to distance ourselves from one another and confuse the roles we are actually here to play. Every religion, every sports team, every political party, every street gang, every race, every creed, every fanboy club has been used as a way to separate ourselves from one another, and many of us are becoming more inclined to break down those distinctions, even to the point of breaking them down at the very biological level. Whether they are conscious of it or not, every single one of those transgender service members, and each of the transgender people trying to find a place to pee without being tormented, is opening us up to a perspective of life beyond distinctions.
Perhaps if we start to break down the lines between male and female, one day we’ll be able to break down the lines between left and right as well.